A Colombian innovation gets to the finals in One-million USD Challenge to reduce artisanal and small-scale mining impacts
MAPE Progresa App, by Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) of Colombia, is the name of the finalist solution that aims to spread native bamboo in the fields by planting them in degraded mining sites, and to boost ecological succession at a reduced cost.
WASHINGTON, D.C. June 1, 2022. “Artisanal Mining Grand Challenge: The Amazon” is the global contest launched 3 years ago by Conservation X Labs (CXL). Its first round awarded solutions that could be applied to any metal or mineral, anywhere in the world. Winners of the award received a total of USD 750,000 in funds.
In 2021, a second edition was launched, opened to a global community of innovators, in alliance with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Microsoft, and Esri. This challenge aims to find innovative solutions that turn artisanal and small-scale mining into practice more responsible for the environment and with social equity. The Grand Challenge officially announced the 13 finalists, among which, a Colombian project stands out.
A total of 121 applicants from 22 countries around the world participated. Over 50% of the countries belong in the Amazon region. Projects selected come from Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
The 13 selected organizations were tested by a panel of experts in mining, conservation sciences, and environmental entrepreneurship. Measurement criteria considered value proposals, sustainability, impact, and feasibility. Therefore, finalists were chosen because they are developing outstanding solutions to make artisanal and small-scale gold mining in the Amazon more responsible and with social equity.
The name is MAPE Progresa App, by Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), in tandem with Betterchain. They created a tool to automate and digitalize the collection, analysis, and measurement of compliance and risk management indicators and good practices of ASM, using international standards such as CRAFT and Fairmined.
The team was inspired by the necessity of finding a solution to the problems identified in the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) in the territory of miners, like having access to formal markets, lack of transparency, and coherence of the information between the actors, among others.
Their goal is to have ASM formalization accompanied by an improvement in reliability and dissemination of information among the actors, so that they can make a contribution to their level, fostering mineral traceability throughout the value chain.
All applicants evinced specific work and actions on tools for cleaner mining, restoring and remediating, monitoring and actionable data, and solutions for supply chains.
“The purpose was to find effective solutions for artisanal and small-scale mining in the Amazon, the largest tropical forest of the world. Here lies part of the most important biodiversity in the planet, and it homes several indigenous communities,” stated Alex Dehgan, CEO and Co-Founder of Conservation X Labs. “We are thrilled to support innovators, researchers, and entrepreneurs in the development and implementation of their innovations and conservation technology.”
Finalists will get initial funding to start tests in the field and develop their innovations along with local allies and organizations that work in the Amazon region through Amazon CoLab, a 6-month acceleration program. The Grand Challenge administrators will announce the winners and give additional cash prizes to the solutions to the highest performing solutions at the end of 2022.
For more information on the Grand Challenge and its finalists, go to: retomineriaartesanal.com/finalistas
About the Artisanal Mining Grand Challenge: The Amazon
The first round of the Artisanal Mining Grand Challenge took place between 2019 and 2020. It awarded Solutions that could be applied onto any metal or mineral, anywhere in the world. Winners of the prize received a total funding of USD 750,000, and six teams were selected to develop and test their innovations with partners in the Amazon region through Amazon CoLab.
Open to a global community of innovators, the “Artisanal Mining Grand Challenge: The Amazon,” was launched in 2021 and sought for solutions to safeguard ecosystems, protect human health, optimize responsible supply chains, and promote the formalization of miners to achieve social and environmental protection. The “Artisanal Mining Grand Challenge: The Amazon,” is implemented by Conservation X Labs in alliance with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Microsoft, and Esri.
For further information, please contact:
Head of Communications
Alliance for Responsible Mining